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Re: [Rollei] Re: OT 1911

For me, automatics have always been more accurate than revolvers. Might be 
my hands, but I doubt it. My Browning Hi-Power .40 is a tack driver.

At 03:58 PM 5/24/2003 -0700, you wrote:

>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Eric Goldstein" <egoldste  >
>To: <rollei  
>Sent: Saturday, May 24, 2003 2:38 PM
>Subject: [Rollei] Re: OT 1911
> > > Jeffery Smith wrote:
> > >
> > >> I should have known that this group, who values the
>simplest and best,
> > >> would know what a 1911 is. Weren't both the Rolleiflex
>and 1911 designed
> > >> around the same time with WWI in mind?
> > >>
> > >> Jeffery
> > >
> > >
> > > Hi Jeffery -
> > >
> > > The first F & H products were stereo cameras designed
>and produced post-war
> > > in the 1920s... As for the .45 ACP, lore not
>withstanding, I don't know if
> > > every GI who actually shot them in combat would agree
>that they were the
> > > simplest and the best. My own father, who was an
>ordinance and supply
> > > Sargent in WWII, certainly would not... but perhaps you
>mean for the time,
> > > turn of the century?
> > >
> > >
> > > Eric Goldstein
> > >
> >
> >
> > Expanding upon this a bit, my Father relayed several
>stories of officers
> > regularly replacing .45 ACP with revolvers (.38 I
>think)... Reliability,
> > accuracy and handling taking priority over brute force and
>rapid reload...
> >
> > Anyone know what revolvers were standard issue at the late
>stages of WW II?
> >
> >
> > Eric Goldstein
> >
>   I think the automatic was adapted as standard issue
>because of fire power and speed of reloading. Previously the
>USA had used revolvers taking .45 Long Colt amunition. These
>are shells about twice the length of the ACP, designed
>originally for black powder.
>   The revolver took six shells, the automatic took seven,
>eight if you cocked it and then added a shell to the
>magazine. Changing magazines takes only a couple of seconds
>where reloading a revolver takes the better part of a
>   The main problem with the ACP, and some other Browning
>pattern automatics is that they are vulnerable to jamming
>from weak springs in the magazine. If a new shell is not
>pushed up completely when the gun attempts to reload the
>entire mechanism jams and must be unjammed to continue
>firing. Not what you want in combat.
>   Police have replaced revolvers in the recent past for much
>the same reason; fire power. Current automatics can take
>magazines with anything up to around 14 or 15 shots.
>   The 9mm has become a NATO standard and is a defacto police
>standard. The ACP actually has greater muzzle energy and
>stopping power, but not enough to compensate for the better
>design of the newer guns.
>   The Los Angeles police department used .38 Police Special
>revolvers until about a decade ago. There were constant
>complaints that the guns had no stopping power. Unless you
>managed to hit a fatal spot the bad guys would just keep
>   Automatics are generally a little harder to learn to shoot
>accurately. There is a lot of machinery moving when you
>shoot it. But, there are plenty of champion shots with even
>the lowly 1911 Colt. The design of this gun was improved
>many times since it was first produced. Some wartime models
>were made in a hurry and by companies who didn't normally
>make firearms. They were often loose and not very accurate.
>However, the intended use was for very close combat
>conditions, perhaps ten or fifteen feet between you and
>whoever you were shooting. The main virtue of the .45 ACP
>was that it would knock the victim down almost no matter
>where he was hit.
>   My memory is that the old .45 Long Colt had even more
>muzzle energy than the ACP but again not enough to
>compensate for its slow reloading.
>   My favorite is the gun Dashiell Hammet gave to Bridget
>O'Shaunesey to kill Sam Spade's partner with in the Maltese
>Falcon. Its mis-described in the movie. In the novel its a
>Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver, 38 caliber, eight shot.
>They don't make them anymore.
>   This is an amazing bit of tripple trickery on Hammett's
>part. Many readers will believe that Hammett didn't know the
>difference between a revolver and an automatic. No way, he
>had been a Pinkerton detective and knew firearms. The gun
>was exactly as described. A revolver because the shells were
>in a cylinder which revolved, and an automatic because the
>gun was reloaded and cocked by recoil action. The cylinder
>and upper body of the gun was pushed back on its frame by
>the recoil operating the turning and cocking mechanism.
>These are very rare guns, perhaps no more than a couple of
>hundred being built. A much more common version was a
>British .445 caliber six shot, made for the English military
>for a brief time before WW-1. This is the gun shown in the
>   Hammett's choice of this weapon was no accident. Like the
>Maltese Falcon itself the gun is a rare bird. Secondly, and
>of importance, it is like everyone and everything else in
>the story, not quite what it seems. This equivacation is a
>basic ingredient of all of Hammett's writing; the story
>Spade tells Bridgit about the Seattle man who disappears is
>the kernel of this, expoounding the uncertainty of life
>which is the basis of the story. It is intresting that
>Wilmer, Gutman's tough boy, carries plain old Colt .45
>Automatics (and does a lot of shooting with them too).
>   Of course, the "automatic revolver" is also a joke on the
>reader, another instance of things not being what they seem.
>In this case, the idea that the reader knows more than the
>author where its actually the opposite. Hammett found a way
>to give a little real life practical demonstration of the
>theme of his story.
>  It is this complexity which IMHO is one of the main reasons
>Hammett must be considered above the general level of
>mystery-detective writing.
>   Another couple of tricks he plays are terms used by Spade.
>One is in his confrontation with Wilmer in the hotel lobby.
>"...say, how long have you been off the strawberry lay?"
>What is _that_. It sounds like some sort of strange sexual
>deviation. In fact, its ninetheenth century criminal argot
>for stealing laundry off a clothes line, an indication of
>the distain Spade has for Wilmer. In the same scene he
>speaks to the house detective pointing at Wilmer; "How come
>you let these cheap gunsels in here with their tools bulging
>their clothing."  Well, gunsel is an old yidish word for a
>young male homosexual prositute. Tools may mean guns to some
>readers but I don't quite think that's what Hammett meant.
>    Now, how about another off topic topic: how is it that
>the Chicago and New York gangs understood the value of the
>machine gun when the U.S. Army did not?  I leave you with
>Raymond Chandler's advise to pulp writers: "When in doubt
>have a mand come through a door carrying a gun."
>  At some point I will come up with some Rolleiflex content.
>Richard Knoppow
>Los Angeles, CA, USA


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